“With a Big Book in hand, not only did I find a purpose and meaning in my life within the rooms of The Magdalen House, I found the best part of me—loving-kindness, empathy, and an outreached hand to help any alcoholic woman seeking Recovery.”

– Harriet Shaw, Lifetime Volunteer in recovery since May 17th, 1987

Meet Harriet Shaw, a Meeting Chair who has been a volunteer for The Magdalen House from the very beginning, back when we were located in a little house on Lovers Lane.

Harriet has served more volunteer hours than we have on record in her decades of service, but more than 828 hours have been recorded in the past five years alone. We are so grateful to have Harriet as part of our community! 

Harriet’s meetings are every Friday at 12:00 pm. View Our Meeting Schedule 

1. What is your favorite line in the Big Book, and why?

“God, I offer myself to Thee…” – Page 63

My favorite line in the Big Book is, “GOD, I OFFER MYSELF TO THEE.” I cling to it as my only hope. In the bowing down to say those words, there is a softening of my countenance and spirit for me. And when I rise up, all I know is that the woman that bowed down is not the same woman that stands up. She is at peace.

2. How did The Magdalen House become part of your life, and how long have you been volunteering at Maggie’s?

The Magdalen House became a part of my life when I started on this journey, desperate to not drink. Yet not desperate enough to do anything but go to meetings and marvel that I’d been in rooms where people told you the worst possible things about themselves, and other people clapped and said, “keep coming back.”

It was clear I was not working the Steps. I was appointed with a Sponsor of all things (because I refused to get one), and she immediately banished me to volunteer at The Magdalen House – the first one located on Lovers Lane. I was appalled when I had to vacuum a couch or sweep a floor or engage with newly sober women. What did I know about staying sober? And I barely knew how to use a vacuum!

The rest is history. With a Big Book in hand, not only did I find a purpose and meaning in my life within the rooms of The Magdalen House, I found the best part of me—loving-kindness, empathy, and an outreached hand to help any alcoholic woman seeking Recovery.

3. What has been the most significant gift to you in your Recovery?

The most significant gift to me in my Recovery has been forming, developing, and growing through the years a relationship with God, whose Love and Grace has guided me in the best of times and the worst of times.

4. What would you say to women who are new to recovery?

I would say what was said to me decades ago, “Expect a Miracle.” The Spiritual Awakening that occurs just crossing the threshold of Maggie’s when seeking Recovery is just a beginning. More are there for you and me as we work the 12 Steps and let the Light of God restore us to divine love for ourselves and others.

5. What is your life like today?

Today, my life is a metamorphosis of anchors to God, to my Recovery, to my family, to my friends, and most of all, to the Community of fellow travelers on this wonderful journey of Life. Every day I consciously ask God to show me and direct me to what He would have me do today. With that as my guiding light, my days and nights are filled with opportunities to love more, be kinder, be patient, and be a better listener to all whose paths I cross.

6. What are some of your hobbies or things that you enjoy in your free time?

This year has started with another layer of Miracles. I am dedicating a volume of daily time and focused attention to exposing myself to those Miracles, doing the hard work of digging deep to the root of my emotions, ideas, and attitudes which have separated me from God—His Love for me his precious child, my love for myself and my love for you, his precious child as well.

About Harriet Shaw

Harriet’s professional career of over 50 years has spanned a wealth of entrepreneurship, always Serving Others. Harriet is a former Board Member and Vice President at David Griffin and Co. Realtors and now a Residential Real Estate Sales Agent at Keller Williams. Her Clients’ needs are always geared to make their Home Dreams come true.

She has Served as Delegate, Chair, Co-Chair, President or Board Member of the following Civic or Professional Groups: The Magdalen House, AMC Cancer Research Center, Beth El Binai Synagogue, Candy Marcum Institute of Women Studies, International Conference of Gay and Lesbian Jews, Magdalen House, Metrotex Association of Realtors, Oaklawn MLS, Vogel Alcove, Women’s Community Association, and Women’s Business Association.

Her persevering, loyal and devoted diligence to making Our World a Better Place is her Passion.

She is a Mother to Scotty and Brad and their wives Pamie and Laura. A Grandmother to Otto and Bella and a God Mother to Sam. And, of course, mother to Patrick, her dog, the sweetest guy in the world. A life truly blessed with the Miracles of Love.


Whether you’re a woman who is newly sober and wondering where to begin, or you’ve been in recovery for decades and are looking to connect with other women in recovery – we hope you will join us!